Tag Archives: granola

Clumpy Almond Butter Granola Recipe

Almond Butter Granola
Almond Butter Granola

Homemade granola is so easy to make and customize to individual tastes.  So long as you keep the proportions of ingredients, substitutions are perfectly acceptable.  For example, my recipe calls for 3/4 cup of dried cranberries, cherries, or blueberries; however, if those don’t strike your fancy, substitute the same quantity of raisins and/or chopped dates, for example. I don’t include nuts in my granola but, if they are your taste, but all means substitute them, in the same quantity, for one of the dried fruits called for in the recipe.

I wanted this granola recipe to be crisp and clumpy, not silky fine with each ingredient separated individually.  In order to get a clumpy texture, there needs to be some binders added to the mix to get the ingredients to stick together.  In this case, I am using a combination of almond butter, maple syrup, honey, coconut oil, and an egg white which has been beaten till frothy. The other trick to getting clumpy granola is to refrain from stirring it while it bakes or cools. If the granola starts to brown too quickly in the oven, instead of stirring it, rotate the baking sheet and/or reduce the oven heat.

Almond Butter Granola
Almond Butter Granola

The basic structure of any granola recipe is simply cereal, oil of some kind, and sweetener.  The typical cereal is large flake rolled oats.  Various kinds of oil can be used – I like to use coconut oil.  For sweeteners, I typically choose maple syrup but have also included honey in this recipe along with almond butter, all three of which also provide flavour in addition to the spices. The addition of mix-ins (i.e., dried fruits, berries, nuts, chocolate, etc.) are purely personal taste.

Almond Butter Granola
Almond Butter Granola

I like granola as a cereal, topped on yogurt, as a snack and, heck, I even toss some on my salads to add a crunchy texture and flavour boost!

Almond Butter Granola
Almond Butter Granola

[Printable recipe follows at end of post]

Almond Butter Granola

Ingredients:

2 cups large flake rolled oats
1½ cups puffed brown rice cereal
2 tbsp ground flaxseed
1½ tbsp ground chia seeds

¾ cup dried coconut shavings

¾ cup dried cranberries, cherries, or blueberries (or a combination of two or three)
2/3 cup golden raisins
½ cup hemp hearts
1/3 cup dried apricots
¼ cup dried pineapple
1/3 cup dried papaya

½ cup coconut oil
6 tbsp smooth almond butter
3 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp honey
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp cardamom
¼ tsp nutmeg
Pinch ginger
Pinch salt

1 extra-large egg white

Method:
 
Preheat oven to 300°F.  Line large rimmed baking sheet with tinfoil.  Spray lightly with cooking oil.

Combine rolled oats, puffed brown rice cereal, ground flaxseed, and ground chia seeds in large bowl.

In separate large bowl, combine cranberries, cherries, and/or blueberries along with the raisins, hemp hearts, apricots, pineapple, and papaya. Set aside.

In small saucepan, combine coconut oil, almond butter, maple syrup, honey, vanilla, spices, and salt.  Stir over medium-low heat until mixture is well blended and heated. Do not boil. Pour over rolled oats mixture and stir.

Beat egg white until frothy. Pour over rolled oats and syrup mixture.  Stir to coat mixture with the egg white.

Spread oats evenly in a single layer on baking sheet.  Bake for 35-40 minutes or until oats are a deep caramel color and start to get crispy and fragrant.  Do not stir during the baking. If granola starts to brown quickly, rotate the baking sheet in the oven and/or reduce the heat. Add coconut shavings to oats during the last 5 minutes of baking.  Remove from oven and cool for 20-30 minutes then transfer toasted oat mixture to the large bowl containing the dried fruit.  Stir well to combine all ingredients.  Store granola in airtight container at room temperature for 5-7 days or store in refrigerator for longer use.

Yield: Apx. 8 cups

Clumpy Almond Butter Granola

A crunchy and clump lightly spiced granola made with almond butter, maple syrup, and honey
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Author My Island Bistro Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 2 cups large flake rolled oats
  • 1 1/2 cups puffed brown rice cereal
  • 2 tbsp ground flaxseed
  • 1 1/2 tbsp ground chia seeds
  • 3/4 cup dried coconut shavings
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries, cherries, or blueberries (or a combination of two or three)
  • 2/3 cup golden raisins
  • 1/2 cup hemp hearts
  • 1/3 cup dried apricots
  • 1/4 cup dried pineapple
  • 1/3 cup dried papaya
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 6 tbsp smooth almond butter
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • pinch ginger
  • pinch salt
  • 1 extra-large egg white

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 300°F. Line large rimmed baking sheet with tinfoil. Spray lightly with cooking oil.
  2. Combine rolled oats, puffed brown rice cereal, ground flaxseed, and ground chia seeds in large bowl.
  3. In separate large bowl, combine cranberries, cherries, and/or blueberries along with the raisins, hemp hearts, apricots, pineapple, and papaya. Set aside.
  4. In small saucepan, combine coconut oil, almond butter, maple syrup, honey, vanilla, spices, and salt. Stir over medium-low heat until mixture is well blended and heated. Do not boil. Pour over rolled oats mixture and stir.
  5. Beat egg white until frothy. Pour over rolled oats and syrup mixture. Stir to coat mixture with the egg white.
  6. Spread oats evenly in a single layer on baking sheet. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until oats are a deep caramel color and start to get crispy and fragrant. Do not stir during the baking. If granola starts to brown quickly, rotate the baking sheet in the oven and/or reduce the heat. Add coconut shavings to oats during the last 5 minutes of baking. Remove from oven and cool for 20-30 minutes then transfer toasted oat mixture to the large bowl containing the dried fruit. Stir well to combine all ingredients. Store granola in airtight container at room temperature for 5-7 days or store in refrigerator for longer use.

    Yield: Apx. 8 cups

For another great granola recipe from My Island Bistro Kitchen, click on the link below:

The Bistro’s Great Nut-free Granola

Pin Me To Pinterest!

Granola
Almond Butter Granola

MEAL PLANNING – WEEK 2

Here is my suggested meal plan for the upcoming week. This is the Week 2 menu.  You can access the meal plans for Week 1 by clicking here and for Week 3 here.

I am a big fan of meal planning – it takes some coordination and effort upfront but the payoff is great. Find tested and reliable recipes with ingredients you know your family will like, read through the recipes to see what’s involved in their preparation and how long it will take to prepare them, make the shopping list, shop for the ingredients, and set aside the time to make the recipes. If you have helpers in the household, assign them tasks to help with the preparation.

Rather than spend time aimlessly perusing recipes in books or magazines or searching through the internet for a recipe that might pique your interest, I recommend first thinking about what main ingredient might appeal to you – is it ham, beef, poultry, fish, pasta, vegetables, etc. Are you looking for a casserole, a pot pie, or a main entrée, a one-time meal recipe or one that leftovers could be frozen for another meal or transformed into another dish altogether? Once you narrow down what you are aiming for, your search for the recipe will be more focused and concentrated and you will spend less time on the recipe search and more time productively spent actually making the dish.

To help you with that search, I hope you find some, or all, of the following recipes of interest and ones you will add to your weekly meal plan.

I’ve provided a list of the main ingredients that, for the most part, would probably involve a shopping trip to the supermarket for most. However, as always, read each recipe thoroughly and carefully to create your own personalized list as I have not listed what I consider to be “staple” items like regular milk, butter, eggs, flour, sugar, butter/shortening, oil, spices, etc.

Make sure you read through the menu suggestions for the entire week as some require some leftover meat or gravy, etc., from a previous day’s dinner so you will need to know what amounts of ingredients need to be set aside for a subsequent day’s meal.

Click on the green hotlinks to access the recipes.

MONDAY

GranolaMy recipe for granola is nut free.  So tasty, it’s actually yummy eaten as a trail mix treat, too! 

Granola
The Bistro’s Great Nut-Free Granola

Best Zucchini Granola Muffins – These are great breakfast or coffee break muffins and they freeze very well.  Great treat to start off the week!

Shopping List: Granola (click here for my recipe), zucchini, applesauce

Zucchini Granola Muffins
Zucchini Granola Muffins

Dinner:  Roast Beef, Potato Patties, Turnip Puff Casserole

A roast beef dinner is so tasty (and the house smells so great when the beef is roasting).  Be sure to save some of the beef and make some gravy for the beef pot pies for Tuesday night’s dinner!

The potato patties are a change from traditional mashed or boiled potatoes and these are super tasty.  Turnip goes particularly well with beef and is transformed into a lovely flavorful casserole to serve as a side dish. Jazzes up a roast beef dinner for sure!

Shopping List: Roast of beef, cut of choice. For Potato Patties – Potatoes, sour cream chicken bouillon, breadcrumbs. For Turnip Puff Casserole – Rutabaga, applesauce, onion, parmesan and cheddar cheeses.

PEI Bistro-style Potato Patties
PEI Bistro-style Potato Patties

 Turnip Puff Casserole

Turnip Puff Casserole

Dessert: Rustic Apple Pie

Who can say no to a homemade apple pie!  Add a scoop of your favorite vanilla ice cream to make this an even more special treat!

Shopping List: Apples, pie pastry for double-crust pie + enough for a single crust pie (needed for tomorrow’s Beef Pot Pie)

Apple Pie
Rustic Apple Pie

TUESDAY

Dinner:  Beef Pot Pie – This is a great way to use up leftover roast beef and gravy from Monday night’s dinner.

Sometimes, depending on the size of roast, after a couple of days of leftover sliced cold roast beef, it can be a little boring, shall we say.  That’s why it’s important to find other uses for the leftover roast beef, like this Beef Pot Pie, so it seems like a brand new idea for dinner!

Shopping List: Rutabaga, carrots, potatoes, onion, mushrooms, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, red wine summer savory, frozen peas and corn, fresh parsley, pastry for single crust pie

Beef Pot Pie
Beef Pot Pie

Dessert:  Leftover Apple Pie

Apple Pie
Apple Pie

WEDNESDAY

Dinner:  Potato Leek Soup with Whole Wheat Biscuits

Sometimes you just need a plain old-fashioned silky smooth cream soup and this Potato Leek Soup fits that bill nicely.  Serve it with some warm homemade whole wheat biscuits, with a slather of butter, of course!

Shopping List: For Soup – Potatoes, leek, celery, onion, garlic, chicken/turkey stock, milk, white cheese blend (e.g., mozzarella, provolone, parmesan) For Biscuits – All purpose and whole wheat flours, buttermilk

Potato Leek Soup
Potato Leek Soup

 

Whole Wheat Biscuits
Whole Wheat Biscuits

Dessert: Chocolate Drop Cookies

These are a great chocolate cookie and sure to find their way into the heart of any chocolate lover.

Shopping List: General baking supplies + cocoa

  Chocolate Drop Cookies

Chocolate Drop Cookies

THURSDAY

Dinner:  Chili Con Carne served with Pan Rolls

This chili is packed full of flavorful ingredients.  While I think it’s perfect any time of the year, it’s especially inviting on cold winter days!  Make a batch of homemade pan rolls to accompany this chili.

Shopping List: For Chili – Ground beef, onion, green pepper, celery, garlic, 1 – 28oz can diced tomatoes, 2 – 14oz cans red kidney beans, 1 – 10oz can tomato soup, 1 – 5.5oz can tomato paste, chili powder, balsamic vinegar, liquid beef bouillon, mushrooms. For Pan Rolls – Yeast + standard baking supplies

Chili
Homemade Chili

 

Pan Rolls
Pan Rolls

Dessert: Creamy Coconut Rice Pudding

Baked rice pudding is a comfort food and many will remember their mothers and grandmothers making this treat. I’ve jazzed up my recipe with coconut milk and raisins that have had a little “nip” of amaretto!

Shopping List: Arborio rice, amaretto, raisins, coconut milk, maple syrup, shredded coconut

Rice Pudding
Creamy Coconut Rice Pudding

FRIDAY

 Dinner:  Honey Garlic Spare Ribs, Twice-baked Potatoes, favorite side vegetable

Nothing beats honey and garlic to add some life to spare ribs!  These ribs can be served with rice or choice of potato but my favorite is to add a twice-baked potato to the plate. Super yummy.

Shopping List: For Spare Ribs – Ribs, apple juice, honey, soya sauce, garlic, onion. For Twice-baked Potatoes – Baking potatoes such as Russet variety, sour cream, whole milk or cream, liquid chicken bouillon, garlic, cheddar and parmesan cheeses

Garlic Spareribs
Garlic Spareribs served with Turnip Casserole and Baked Potato

 

Stuffed Baked Potato
Twice-baked Potato

Dessert: Jelly Roll

Lovely sponge cake rolled with red jam or jelly. Yes, this is indeed an old favorite with many.

Shopping List:  Cake and pastry flour, favorite red jam or jelly

Jelly Roll

SATURDAY

 Dinner: Moussaka with green salad

While I have made Moussaka for years, recent visits to Greek islands reignited my love for this dish.  As a nod to my Prince Edward Island heritage, my version uses potatoes instead of the traditional eggplant. A little time-consuming to make but the end result is so worth it!

Shopping List: For Moussaka – Ground beef, onion, celery, garlic, 14-oz can crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, red wine, beef broth, russet potatoes, milk, Gouda cheese, breadcrumbs. For green salad – favorite lettuce and salad fixings of choice, dressing.

Moussaka
Moussaka

Dessert: Vintage Tomato Soup Cake

I grew up with this cake being frequently made.  Bet you can’t tell there is a can of tomato soup in it!

Shopping List:  Tomato soup, molasses

Tomato Soup Cake
Tomato Soup Cake

SUNDAY

 Sunday Breakfast: Special Treat – Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes

Sunday mornings call for something just a little more special than you might make on busy weekday mornings.  Try these Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes with maple syrup or a rich blueberry sauce for double the blueberry flavor.

Shopping List:  Buttermilk, blueberries (fresh or frozen)

Blueberry Pancakes

DinnerLeftover Moussaka

Moussaka
Moussaka

Dessert: Leftover Vintage Tomato Soup Cake

Tomato Soup Cake
Tomato Soup Cake

So, there you have it – the Week 2 Meal Planning Menu from My Island Bistro Kitchen.

For other meal plans from My Island Bistro Kitchen, click on the links below:

Week 1 Meal Plan

Week 3 Meal Plan

Four Great Places for Breakfast on Prince Edward Island

Given a choice of which meal of the day to eat out, hands down, I’ll choose breakfast every time! I love eating breakfast out and sipping on that first cup of coffee as the tantalizing scents of breakfast preparation waft through the air in the dining room.

Coffee
French-Press Coffee

When I choose a restaurant for breakfast, I’m not looking for greasy diner fare. I’m looking for places that:

  • have a selection of breakfast menu items that extend beyond the standard/usual run-of-the-mill bacon, eggs, hashbrowns, and toast (although, admittedly, that’s sometimes exactly what I crave!);
  • cater to a gluten-free diet since one in our party follows this diet;
  • offer a dining experience which is to say the restaurant has some kind of ambiance – that could be energy and vibrancy, scenery, décor, etc;
  • support local food producers and use fresh, locally-produced ingredients;
  • provide consistency which is to say their food and service are consistently good over several visits; and
  • put some effort into food presentation.

Right out of the gate, I’ll tell you this is not a sponsored post and I wasn’t paid to do it. In fact, the restaurants I’m about to tell you about have no idea I was checking out their restaurants and writing about them on my food blog. So, what follows are my own personal impressions of four (4) great places on PEI that I choose for breakfast and we travel from Summerside to Murray Harbour to find them.

Barbara’s Choices:

  • Samuels Coffee House, Summerside
  • #5 Café, Murray Harbour
  • PEI Preserve Company, New Glasgow
  • Kettle Black, Charlottetown

Samuel’s Coffee House, 4 Queen Street, Summerside

Price Range: $2 – $10  (at time of writing)

I seriously love this place that opened in 2011 and I personally think they have the best coffee on the Island! Their coffee house is small and quaint (yes, you can even eat in the little vault!) but they pack big flavor in their light fare menu items and desserts.

Samuel's of Summerside, PEI
Samuel’s Coffee House, Summerside, PEI

Housed in the former, and now refurbished, Journal-Pioneer building, the large windows allow lots of natural light to permeate the dining area. This is casual style dining. You place your order at the counter, receive a table number and, when the food is ready, a server delivers it to your table. Complimentary Wifi is available.

A good selection of coffee types are available that include espresso, café mocha, café latte, espresso macchiato, cappuccino, and americano. They also, in my view, make the best paninis on the Island using local ingredients. These are perfect for brunch or a light lunch. If you check out their menu board, they’ll often list the food producer’s name by the ingredients they use so you know you are getting good, fresh, local fare.

Breakfast Sandwich
Breakfast Sam at Samuel’s Coffee House, Summerside, PEI

Their “Breakfast Sam” is a great breakfast or brunch choice and it is available in a gluten-free version as well (shown in the photo above).  With eggs, cheddar, ham, tomato, and spinach on a cheese bun (gluten version only with this particular bun; gluten-free is on toasted bread), this is simply a lovely way to start the day. Other breakfast items include their own house-made granola, homemade bread for toast, muffins and cinnamon rolls, and oatmeal.

In the summer months, Samuel’s also operates a coffee house at Avonlea Village in the resort municipality of Cavendish.

Samuel's in Cavendish, PEI
Samuel’s Coffee House Cavendish Location at Avonlea Village

#5 Café, 5 Church Street, Murray Harbour

Price Point: $9 – $11.50 (at time of writing)

Oh, this is a real little gem in the picturesque fishing village of Murray Harbour and absolutely worth the drive to eastern PEI.

#5 Cafe, Murray Harbour, PEI
#5 Cafe, Murray Harbour, PEI

Located in a decommissioned and repurposed church, the owner has kept much of the ambiance of the former church including the matched board walls and ceiling.  The small open- concept kitchen (seen in the photo below) now takes up the former altar and choir loft.

#5 Cafe, Murray Harbour, PEI
Open-concept Kitchen at #5 Cafe, Murray Harbour, PEI

The focus of food preparation at #5 Café is very much on the concept of clean food that is not full of additives and preservatives and that is made from scratch in their own kitchen.

#5 Café offers a wide variety of casual fare items on their menu but, bar none, their omelette is the best I’ve ever had!  Toast is made with their own homemade bread and you’ll often find locals dropping in to buy some of the bread to take home.  Gluten-free bread, though not made in-house, is also available with breakfast items.

Omelette at #5 Cafe, Murray Harbour, PEI
Omelette at #5 Cafe, Murray Harbour, PEI

Regardless the time of day, I’ll bet you can’t leave without checking out their dessert case and large glass jars filled with delectable cookies and other sweets! You just might find some homemade fudge in that dessert case as a sweet ending to breakfast or brunch!

#5 Café, Murray Harbour, PEI
#5 Café, Murray Harbour, PEI

Prince Edward Island Preserve Company, 2841 New Glasgow Road, New Glasgow

Price Point: $6 – $11 (at time of writing)

In operation since 1985, this restaurant is the “go-to” place for many Islanders (including me) for breakie on weekend mornings. You know the old saying “Go where the locals go and you’ll find good food”. Breakfast is served daily until 11:00am.

Prince Edward Island Preserve Company, New Glasgow, PEI
Prince Edward Island Preserve Company, New Glasgow, PEI

Open seasonally from the end of May to early October, be sure to look through the windows to the right as you enter the front doors. Here, most days, you can see the preserve-making process in action. This company is well-known for its production of preserves and spreads and many breakfast menu items are served with their own house-made preserves.

Breakfast Frittata, Prince Edward Island Preserve Company
Breakfast Frittata, Prince Edward Island Preserve Company

The bright open-concept dining room is surrounded by windows. Boasting a phenomenal view of the River Clyde, try to snag a table by the window so you can watch the many different birds at the feeders and fluttering amongst the beautiful flowers of the nearby Gardens of Hope. Complimentary Wifi is available in the dining room.

Breakfast Time!
It’s Breakfast Time for Everybody at the Prince Edward Island Preserve Company, New Glasgow, PEI
View from the window of the Prince Edward Island Preserve Company Restaurant alongside the River Clyde
View from the window of the Prince Edward Island Preserve Company Restaurant alongside the River Clyde
Traditional Country Breakfast
Traditional Country Breakfast at the Prince Edward Island Preserve Company, New Glasgow, PEI

This full-service restaurant has a great menu selection for breakfast and I’ve sampled most of them!

French Toast
French Toast, Prince Edward Island Preserve Company

Many items can be prepared gluten-free or vegetarian. Items range from granola to the standard country breakfast to French toast, pancakes, Belgian waffles, egg croissant to the breakfast frittata which is seriously the best I’ve ever had. Served in an au gratin dish, it’s filled with peppers, green onions, mushrooms, and three cheeses.  Served with sautéed potatoes and toast, this is the full meal deal and you won’t need to eat for the rest of the day!

Breakfast Frittata
Breakfast Frittata at the Prince Edward Island Preserve Company, PEI

Kettle Black, 45 Queen Street, Charlottetown

Price Point: $3.50 – $12 (at time of writing)

Located not far from the Charlottetown waterfront, this independently-owned coffee shop is housed in a refurbished historic building. Look for the bright sunflower yellow store front.

Inside, the exposed brick walls and high ceilings lend a European look and feel. A variety of seating options is available – tables, padded benches, bar stool and counter, and easy chairs.  This is casual dining where you place your order at the register, pick up your beverage, find a table, and a server will then deliver your order to your table. Complimentary Wifi is available.

Breakfast is served all day! Breakfast items range from bagels, Belgian-style waffle, homemade granola and yogurt, and frittata.  Known especially for their types of coffees, they roast organic coffee beans in-house and you can get your lattés, cappuccinos and mochaccinos as well as standard americano coffees here.

My choice at Kettle Black is the frittata that is served with a tasty side salad and toast (gluten-free bread is available).

Breakfast Frittata
Breakfast Frittata at Kettle Black, Charlottetown, PEI

Together, these four establishments offer a wide variety of tasty breakfast fare.

Four Great Places on PEI for Breakfast

 

Best Zucchini Granola Muffins Recipe

Zucchini Granola Muffins
Best Zucchini Granola Muffins

I make a lot of muffins and freeze them to take to work for coffeebreak snacks. I am always testing out flavour combinations for muffins.  This recipe combines grated zucchini, applesauce, granola, orange rind, and spices to make tasty muffins. Adding some granola to the muffin tops makes them colorful and interesting.

Zucchini Granola Muffins
Best Zucchini Granola Muffins

Muffins are not difficult to make and one of the most important tips I have for muffin making is not to over mix the ingredients – this will lead to a tough-textured muffin. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry just until the two are barely combined – it’s okay if you still see a small bit of the dry ingredients. Don’t worry, by the time you spoon the batter into the muffin tin cups, all the dry ingredients will get incorporated.

In a perfect muffin, look for texture that is uniform and neither soggy nor too dry and that has a medium crumb that is moist and tender and somewhat loose. A well-baked muffin will also reveal round gas holes that are uniformly distributed as shown in the photo below.

Zucchini Granola Muffins
Zucchini Granola Muffins

I like to start the muffins baking in a really hot oven (475°F) and then immediately reduce the heat (down to 400°F for these) when I place the muffins in the oven. It’s important that the oven is preheated. I find this quick start of high heat helps the muffins to rise really quickly at the beginning of the baking period and will give them that nice symmetrically-formed, slightly rounded dome-shaped top that is customary in muffins (see photo below). A well-formed muffin should not have any sharp peak or knob on the top.

Zucchini Granola Muffins
Best Zucchini Granola Muffins

The crust of a good muffin should be thin and tender with a rough, pebbled surface.  The muffin, on all sides (including the bottom), should have a uniformly browned crust with no sign of darkness or burning.

Zucchini Granola Muffins
Best Zucchini Granola Muffins

I do not recommend using paper liners in the muffin tins for these as the muffins won’t have a nice brown crust and I find some of the muffin sticks to the liners – these taste too good to lose any to a paper liner!

I have used The Bistro’s Great Nut-free Granola in this recipe.  This is my own recipe that you can find here. It’s quite easy to make.

The Bistro's Great Nut-free Granola
The Bistro’s Great Nut-free Granola

The muffin recipe has not been tested using any other kind of granola than my own recipe. Therefore, if you choose to use other granola as an ingredient in these muffins, the results may differ as some granola is loose texture while another type may be large and clumped together.  This will obviously affect the amount of granola needed in the recipe.

Zucchini Granola Muffins
Best Zucchini Granola Muffins

While these are delightful warm from the oven, the muffins also freeze well – all I do is simply split them in two, add a slather of butter, put the two halves back together, and wrap them tightly in plastic wrap then pop them in to a freezer bag. This makes lunch packing quick and easy on work day mornings.

Best Zucchini Granola Muffins
Best Zucchini Granola Muffins

(printable recipe follows at end of this post)

Best Zucchini Granola Muffins

Ingredients:

1⅔ cup all-purpose flour

⅓ cup whole wheat flour

1 tbsp baking powder

½ tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

2½ tsp cinnamon

⅛ tsp nutmeg

2 tsp finely grated orange rind

1¼ cups of The Bistro’s Great Nut-free Granola

 

2 extra-large eggs, slightly beaten

¾ cup brown sugar, firmly packed

½ cup vegetable oil

1 tsp vanilla

⅓ cup milk

1 cup coarsely grated zucchini

⅔ cup applesauce

Apx. ¼ – ⅓ cup granola for topping (optional)

Method:

Preheat oven to 475°F. Prepare muffin tins by greasing or spraying with cooking oil, ensuring the top of the muffin tins are also well-greased/sprayed.

In large bowl, whisk together the all-purpose and whole wheat flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  Stir in orange rind and mix in the granola. Set aside.

In medium-sized bowl, whisk together the eggs, brown sugar, vegetable oil, vanilla and milk.  Stir in the zucchini and applesauce just until well combined.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir only until mixed. Do not overmix.  Spoon batter into prepared muffin tins, filling each cup a generous ¾ full.  Sprinkle some granola on top of each muffin, if desired.

Transfer muffins to oven and immediately reduce the oven temperature to 400°F.  Bake for 18-20 minutes or until muffins are just firm to the touch and a cake tester inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.

Let muffins rest in muffin tins for about 5 minutes then transfer to wire rack to finish cooling.

Yield:  14-16 standard-sized muffins

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Best Zucchini Granola Muffins

Yield: 14-16 standard-sized muffins

Ingredients

  • 1 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 tsp finely grated orange rind
  • 1¼ cups of The Bistro’s Great Nut-free Granola
  • 2 extra-large eggs, slightly beaten
  • ¾ cup brown sugar, firmly packed
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 cup coarsely grated zucchini
  • 2/3 cup applesauce
  • Apx. ¼ - 1/3 cup granola for topping (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 475°F. Prepare muffin tins by greasing or spraying with cooking oil, ensuring the top of the muffin tins are also well-greased/sprayed.
  2. In large bowl, whisk together the all-purpose and whole wheat flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Stir in orange rind and mix in the granola. Set aside.
  3. In medium-sized bowl, whisk together the eggs, brown sugar, vegetable oil, vanilla and milk. Stir in the zucchini and applesauce just until well combined.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir only until mixed. Do not overmix. Spoon batter into prepared muffin tins, filling each cup a generous ¾ full. Sprinkle some granola on top of each muffin, if desired.
  5. Transfer muffins to oven and immediately reduce the oven temperature to 400°F. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until muffins are just firm to the touch and a cake tester inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.
  6. Let muffins rest in muffin tins for about 5 minutes then transfer to wire rack to finish cooling.
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Zucchini Granola Muffins
Zucchini Granola Muffins
Best Zucchini Granola Muffins
Best Zucchini Granola Muffins

The Bistro’s Great Nut-free Granola Recipe

The Bistro's Great Nut-Free Granola
The Bistro’s Great Nut-Free Granola

This granola recipe features a tasty mixture of toasted rolled oats, coconut, and dried fruits and berries.  Notably missing in this recipe are any nuts or whole seeds which are often found in granola.  This is intentional.  For anyone who, for any reason, cannot consume nuts or whole seeds, this granola is especially for you!

The Bistro's Great Nut-Free Granola
The Bistro’s Great Nut-Free Granola

Granola is an oat-based cereal. Typically, the base ingredients will include:

  • rolled oats (use the ones that have large flakes; easily customize the recipe to be gluten-free by using gluten-free oats),
  • some kind of sweetener (e.g., brown sugar, maple syrup, or honey),
  • an oil (e.g., coconut, vegetable, or olive),
  • dried fruits and/or nuts, and
  • flavoring (such as vanilla and a medley of spices that often include cinnamon, nutmeg, and cardamon).

Granola is very versatile and is so much more than a cereal served with milk for breakfast, although that is quite lovely. Here are some ways I like to use granola:

  • topping for yogurt parfaits,
  • snack food (like a trail mix),
  • ingredient in muffins, cookies, and bars,
  • crushed/ground and used to bread chicken pieces or as a topping for casseroles,
  • sprinkled over salads, or
  • mixed with toppings for a baked fruit crisp

It’s very easy to customize granola to suit your taste. If you want to add some nuts or chocolate chips to the granola, for example, swap out an equal amount of dried fruit or berries.  Or, if don’t like raisins, exchange them for an equal amount of another ingredient such as dried blueberries, cranberries, cherries, or apricots.  The important thing is to keep the proportions of ingredients in the recipe.

The Bistro's Great Nut-Free Granola
The Bistro’s Great Nut-Free Granola

If you can turn on an oven and heat a mixture in a saucepan on the stove, you can make granola!  The sweetener, oil, and flavorings are heated in a small saucepan on the stove top just until they are warmed and well blended.  This syrup gets poured over the oats and stirred to ensure the oats are coated.  The oats are then spread on a large cookie sheet and baked in the oven for 35-45 minutes until they turn golden brown.  They are then cooled and tossed with the mixture of dried fruits and berries.

It’s very important to pay attention to the oats as they bake because they can easily burn.  The oats need to be turned 3-4 times as they bake to ensure that they toast evenly on all sides.  As soon as they start to turn a deep caramel color and begin to get a bit crispy, they are done.

The Bistro's Great Nut-Free Granola
The Bistro’s Great Nut-Free Granola

The Bistro’s Great Nut-free Granola

Ingredients:

3 cups large flake rolled oats
2 tbsp ground flaxseed

1 cup dried cranberries, cherries, or blueberries (or a combination of two or three)
1 cup sultana raisins
½ cup hemp hearts
¼ cup chopped dates
½ cup dried pineapple
½ cup dried papaya

½ cup coconut oil
½ cup maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp cardamom
Pinch nutmeg
Pinch salt

½ cup flaked coconut

Method:

Preheat oven to 300°F. Line large rimmed baking sheet with tinfoil. Spray lightly with cooking oil.

Combine rolled oats and ground flaxseed in large bowl.

In separate large bowl, combine cranberries, cherries, and/or blueberries along with the raisins, hemp hearts, dates, pineapple, nd papaya. Set aside.

In small saucepan, combine coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla, spices, and salt. Stir over medium-low heat until mixture is well blended and heated. Do not boil.

Pour hot syrup over oats and toss to coat. Spread oats evenly on baking sheet. Bake for 35-45 minutes or until oats are a deep caramel color and start to get crispy. Stir oats every 12-15 minutes, turning them over with a spatula, so that the oats toast evenly. Add coconut to oats during the last 5-7 minutes of baking. Remove from oven and cool for 20-30 minutes then transfer toasted oat mixture to the large bowl containing the dried fruit. Stir well to combine all ingredients.

Store granola in airtight container at room temperature for 5-7 days or store in refrigerator for longer use.

Yield:   Apx. 7½ – 8 cups

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The Bistro’s Great Nut-free Granola

Yield: Apx. 7 1/2 - 8 cups

A tasty nut-free granola made with a wonderful blend of dried fruits and berries

Ingredients

  • 3 cups large flake rolled oats
  • 2 tbsp ground flaxseed
  • 1 cup dried cranberries, cherries, or blueberries (or a combination of two or three)
  • 1 cup sultana raisins
  • ½ cup hemp hearts
  • ¼ cup chopped dates
  • ½ cup dried pineapple
  • ½ cup dried papaya
  • ½ cup coconut oil
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp cardamom
  • Pinch nutmeg
  • Pinch salt
  • ½ cup flaked coconut

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 300°F. Line large rimmed baking sheet with tinfoil. Spray lightly with cooking oil.
  2. Combine rolled oats and ground flaxseed in large bowl.
  3. In separate large bowl, combine cranberries, cherries, and/or blueberries along with the raisins, hemp hearts, dates, pineapple, and papaya. Set aside.
  4. In small saucepan, combine coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla, spices, and salt. Stir over medium-low heat until mixture is well blended and heated. Do not boil.
  5. Pour hot syrup over oats and toss to coat. Spread oats evenly on baking sheet. Bake for 35-45 minutes or until oats are a deep caramel color and start to get crispy. Stir oats every 12-15 minutes, turning them over with a spatula, so that the oats toast evenly. Add coconut to oats during the last 5-7 minutes of baking. Remove from oven and cool for 20-30 minutes then transfer toasted oat mixture to the large bowl containing the dried fruit. Stir well to combine all ingredients. Store granola in airtight container at room temperature for 5-7 days or store in refrigerator for longer use.
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The Bistro's Great Nut-Free Granola
The Bistro’s Great Nut-Free Granola